Saturday, 27 October 2007


Albert Einstein with
tongue-not-in-cheek !


Quotable funnies from the Maestro of Physics !

Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.

Gravitation can not be held responsible for people falling in love.

The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.

Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S RELATIVITY.

If A equals success, then the formula is: A = X + Y + Z, X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut

I have received excessive admiration and respect from my fellow-men through no fault of my own.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007


Jesus’ Prayer

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. Yes, Father, it pleased you to do it this way!
“My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Matthew 11:25-30

Tuesday, 23 October 2007



A salesman dropped in to see a business customer. Not a soul was in the office except a small dog emptying wastebaskets. The salesman stared at the animal, wondering if his imagination could be playing tricks on him. The dog looked up and said, “Don't be surprised. This is just part of my job.” “Incredible!” exclaimed the man. “I can't believe it! Does your boss know what a prize he has in you? An animal that can talk!” “No, no,” pleaded the dog. “Please don't! If he finds out I can talk, he'll make me answer the phone as well!”



It seems uncertain
Even now
In these uncertain times
When certainty
In all its sure-held grip
Will once again
No one’s sure
For certain
When the absolute
Will come home
To the subjective fold…

However, we await
Even tentatively
The antiphon
Of certainty’s return
To job
And home
And town and field…
So, so weary
Of comparitive truth,
We yearn with groaning
For one pure drop
Of certainty distilled
To moist
Our parched earth

Gerard O'Shea

Saturday, 20 October 2007



Psalms 133: 1-3(KJV): Behold, how good and hoe pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron;s beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the Dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing even life for evermore.

David stated that harmony is pleasant and precious. Unfortunately, harmony does not abound in the church* as it should. People disagree and cause division over unimportant issues. Some delight in causing tension by discrediting others. Harmony is important because, it makes the church* a positive example to the world and helps draw others to us; it helps us cooperate as a body of believers as God meant us to, giving us a foretaste of heaven; it renews and revitalizes ministry because there is less tension to sap our energy. Living in harmony does not mean we will agree on everything, there will be many opinions just as there are many notes in a musical chord. But we must agree on our purpose in life, to work together for God. Our outward expression of unity will reflect our inward unity of purpose. The ointment was used by Moses to anoint Aaron the first High Priest of Israel and to dedicate all the priests to God's service. Brotherly unity, like the anointing oil, shows that we are dedicated to serving God wholeheartedly.

*Please note the word church is here used in its original Biblical meaning, the group of people gathering together as an expression of their shared lives in Jesus Christ - not any particular ecclesiastical or denominational body.*

Thursday, 18 October 2007


Curraghchase Forest Park
(pic by Padraic Charlton)

Curraghchase Cathedral

Here is where
my children and I go
to create an interactive prayer,
where the walls
are of oak, chestnut and willow,
where there are no rows
of uncomfortable benches,
just the easy undulations of the land
and our unending spire is the sky.
Our choir is birdsong
and the intricate hum
of some humans being.
Here there is no glass
to stain the light, so
it can give such glorious life
to so many colours
that they look like
Nature’s language written.
Here we walk and talk
and at the altar
of our abstract consciousness
no sacrifice is ever made
and from there can cascade
so many thoughts
concerning life and birth.
Here is one of the few places on earth
where even a single word of prose
can evolve and become poetry.
Here we make our celestial noise
and know it will be echoed through eternity.

Gerard Sheehy

Gerard Sheehy reading at Cuisle
A Sacred Stillness
Cuisle is really casting its spell as poems cascade like autumnal leaves at readings and gatherings in various city hostelries.The latest offering to gently flutter into my lap is the above piece by Gerard Sheehy, about a favourite haunt of mine the Curraghchase forest park just 10 miles outside the city. This once stately home was the residence of Aubrey De Vere, a man known to turn the odd verse himself back in the nineteenth century, and now accessible to the public ,is a greeny woodland oasis set in the heartland of west Limerick.Gerards poem which (like all his work) he recited from memory ,perfectly captures the almost sacred stillness of the place where prose easily becomes poetry and ‘celestial noise’ has that far reaching echo beyond our time and space.He conveys well the unchurched grandeur of creation where there ‘is no glass / to stain the light’ and ‘ our unending spire is the sky’. No wonder this is the chosen spot for him and his children to go and ‘create an interactive prayer’, indeed the poem itself , it seems to me, could well be read in that same prayerful context.
- Gerard O'Shea-


The children were lined up in the cafeteria of a national school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples. The teacher made a note, and posted on the apple tray, " Take only one. God is watching."
Moving further along the lunch line, at the other end of the table was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. One child whispered to another, " Take all you want. God is watching the apples! "

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


Teri Murray reading from her new poetry
collection at the Cuisle festival earlier today.

The last leaf has fallen from the apple tree
an old man shifts
trying to defy the weight of soil
bare arm-pits where fruit once crouched
skin puckered over flesh
blemished even in the womb
where stars are fashioned from pips

all that sweetness spit from sap
too heavy for a fragile stem
dropped for birds
to stab at;
and fingers where nails once split
and curled into blossoms
now point, accusing the seasons of treachery
and flout the authority of winter.

Teri Murray


Maybe it’s the time of year but poetry is very much on my mind lately, and right on cue comes the Cuisle Poetry Festival here in Limerick. This is an annual event and consists of four days of readings and workshops, by local and national poetic luminaries. Today I attended a lunchtime reading by Teri Murray at Isaacs bar next to Teds on O’Connel street. I previously heard this lady recite her work at the White House Poetry revival a few months ago, and she was like a breath of fresh air then. Shortly before Teri read on that occasion a local established ‘poet’ read his terribly ‘clever’ piece with all the impact of a wet dishcloth. She delivered her poems with a passion and an immediacy that left me wanting to hear more.

So it was a real pleasure to hear this lunchtime reading from Teri’s new collection ‘The Authority of Winter’. This woman is a ‘natural’ and writes with that light touch of the true artist, serving up the real meat of poetry in her work. Even in this twenty minute reading so many phrases leap out and stay in the remembrance, lines like… “the soles of my sandals / leaving silver imprints / of crescent moons…ink stabs wounding the spaces / between her words…all that sweetness spit from sap / too heavy for a fragile stem…I was a Fuchsia / held on a graceful stem…” Teri delivers her poems in a strong confident style, realising I think ,that the power of her words will beguile the audience.

In a humorous piece she nods to Paddy Kavanagh and includes in the poem an overheard snippet of conversation at a literary reception in Baggot street, concerning herself… “How can she claim to be a writer / with an atrocious Dublin accent like that?” The lady herself instantly retorts… “Well, I have news for you, missus, / I can and I do…So if ever we meet on Baggot Street / maybe I’ll remember you / clutching your Gucci bag / and Guccier poems”. And during this lunchtime reading Teri Murray proved again that she can, and she does !

Gerard O'Shea

Tuesday, 16 October 2007


A Tree in Autumn at Westfields, Limerick


For Kitty Bredin

I saw a leaf, arrested in it’s fall,
Hang upon the dreaming air;
As by some sleight of wizard hand
‘Twas fixed there.

Like a stopped pendulum it hung
Unmoved, unstirred
By any breath of wind
Or any bird.

Gerard 'The Poet' Ryan


When I was growing up in Limerick city I early on learned to love poetry and this was encouraged by a very active local poetry scene known as the ‘Castle Poets’,steered by the indomitable Kitty Bridin. The group met weekly in a turret of King Johns Castle for readings and I remember one particularly stunning evening where the assembled poets read in its entirety The Great Hunger by Patrick Kavanagh. The readings took place under the medieval glow of candle and torch light adding in buckets to the atmosphere, if not the warmth and comfort of the draughty tower. Ah, in those days we really suffered for our art ! Gerard Ryan, known affectionately by all as The Poet Ryan was a sort of living legend in those days in the late sixties, early seventies. I saw him as the archetypal poet, living in poor circumstances in the City Home (previously the local workhouse!) and often seen out and about on the streets of Limerick dressed shabbily, his thoughts lost in poetic muse ( or that’s the way it seemed to me, back then!).And he wrote some beautiful poetry like this one…
Gerard O'Shea


"The ideograph had a circle representing the universe with streams of water in the centre signifying that the whole earth was covered with water. At the bottom of the circle were two slanting lines,which represented the number eight, which was made up of a row of four males and a row of four females. They were Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives. The two outstretched hands at the top of the circle represented faith on the part of Noah and his family".('JKH Tan)

Through several simplifications and modifications this is the word in Chinese script for flood - 'Hung'-

David Pawson in his excellent book Unlocking The Bible points out that after the Tower of Babel among the groups scattered was one who “climbed over the mountains to the east and eventually settled when they reached the sea. They became the great nation of China. Chinese culture goes right back to that day. They left the area of Babel before the Cuneiform alphabet replaced the picture language of ancient Egypt. All languages were pictorial right up to the time of Babel. The language they took to China they put down in picture form. The amazing thing is that it is possible to reconstruct the story from Genesis 1-11 by looking at the symbols which the Chinese use to describe different words. When these people first arrived in China, therefore, they believed in one God, the maker of heaven and earth. It was only after Confucius and Buddha that they got involved in idolatry. The Chinese language is an independent confirmation from outside the Bible that the events recorded in Genesis happened and were carried in the memories people scattered at Babel who then settled in China .”
Jeffrey K H Tan who has written a most informative book called Chinese Symbols-The Mystery Unlocked provides further background to the ancient symbols… “The founding of Chinese words is rather unique as ancient historical events helped to determine the nature of its writing, commonly known as ‘character-writing’. To fully grasp the formation of Chinese language one needs to understand the ancient earthly story. The early Chinese writers skilfully inscribed universal historical events in their little picture-drawing characters. As the Chinese language is more than 5,500 years old, this pictograph language faithfully unveils the past events, as symbols and pictures do not tell lies. Instead they simply convey the intention of the ancient writers and the impression of their souls”.

The examples on this page of Chinese writing is taken from Jeffrey Tans book.

Monday, 15 October 2007


On Going to Meet
a Zen Master
in the Kyushu
Not Finding Him
for A.G.

Don Paterson

Saturday, 13 October 2007


She stoops to conker!-
Mags displays horse
chestnut harvest!


This is a beautiful autumn day, sun shining, with a light breeze animating the russet-leafed trees into life. In this setting you can relate to the Prophets contention, that the trees of the field are truly clapping their hands ! (Isaiah 55:12) Today the tree-led applause is deafening, a last hurrah from leaf and flower before the terrible ravages of winter bring the house to an eerie silence. Now though ,as Mags and I leaf-kick our way around the North Circular road, there is a mellow jaunty lilt to this golden harvest Saturday. At our feet the conkers strewn from the majestic branches of the horse chestnut, a tree that in my childhood was a popular collection point for homeward-going schoolchildren when conkers was a national pastime. The dark brown ’nut’ was pierced with a nail and then treaded through with twine knotted at one end . Then the battle commenced ! You found a competitor and attempted to smash his held conker by aiming a fearsome blow at it ,hoping it would smash to pieces! In turn he would attempt to demolish yours, it sounds violent but the only suffering involved was if your pals aim was off and your fingers took the glancing blow of the conker! Ouch…I can still feel the sting of it!
Today we crouch down collecting the chestnut fruit for a very different reason, not for destructive games but for growth and life! Mags intends planting them around the farm at Ballymartin and hopes to live to see them produce after their kind! So the continuance of this day is assured even beyond our memory of it, encased in the living monuments of offspring saplings that will one day spread their leaves in autumnal applause and shower the earth with their own bounty of conkers. Who knows who will kick their way through those fallen leaves, those of a generation probably not yet even born ! Ah ,these are the thoughts of Autumn…thoughts of decaying and rebirth…thoughts of continuation and resurrection ! A good day for the human soul, a good time to remember that ancient promise of our Creator "As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease."(Genesis8:22) Long may we live to drink in the beauty that He has surrounded us with,and may we remember that this visible feast is only a shadow of the glories that are as of yet unseen. Someone once said “All that I have seen has taught me to trust the Creator for all that I have not seen” Quite a good rule,I think for two pilgrims ambling through the leafy carpet of a perfect autumn day.

Gerard O'Shea

Friday, 12 October 2007



An American small town prosecuting attorney called his first witness to the stand in a trial – a grandmotherly, elderly woman. He approached her and asked, “Mrs. Jones, do you know me?” She responded, “Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy. And frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a rising big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you.” The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do he pointed across the room and asked, “Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?” She again replied, “Why, yes I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. I used to baby-sit him for his parents. And he, too, has been a real disappointment to me. He's lazy, bigoted, and has a drinking problem. The man can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes, I know him.” At this point, the judge rapped the courtroom to silence and called both counselors to the bench. In a very quiet voice, he said with menace, “If either of you asks her if she knows me, you'll be in jail for contempt within five minutes!”

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


Sunrise over Damascus

These Scriptures have been selected as a morning
meditation as one enters the Presence of the Lord

At The Start of the Day

Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation…(1)

Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD…. (2)

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint… (3)

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favour and honour; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you… (4)

indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore… (5)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.. (6)

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal... (7)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart… (8)

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (9)

(1) Ps 5:1-3 (2) Lam 3:22-26 (3) Is 40:28-31 (4) Ps 84:10-12 (5) Ps 121:4-8
(6) 2 Ptr 3:10-14 (7) 2 Cor 4:16-18 (8) Heb 12:1-3 (9) Heb 13:20-21

What I do…as I enter His presence…

I lay my requests before you….Ps 5:3.……..Asking
It is good to wait quietly…Lam 3:26.…………Meditating
Our walk needs to be blameless…Ps 84:11.……Confessing
I should live a holy and godly life…2 Ptr 3:11.……Resolving
I must throw off everything that hinders …Dissolving
And the sin that so easily entangles…Heb 12:1.…..Renouncing
I must fix my eyes on Jesus…Heb12:2.……..Focusing
To whom (Jesus) be glory for ever and ever…Heb 13:21.……Praising

What God does…

The Lord will renew my strength…Is 40:31
The Lord will hear my voice…Ps 5:3
Gods compassion never fails…Lam3:22
No good thing does God witholdPs 84:11
The Lord watches over me…Ps 121:5
Inwardly I am being renewed day by day…2 Cor 4:16
May God work in me what is pleasing to Him through Jesus Christ
…Heb 13:21

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Jesus in the wilderness
- painting by Ron Di Ciarni -


When Jesus faced His old adversary out in the Judean wilderness, Satan unfurled his master blueprint for the captivity of mankind’s soul. The deceiver unleashed with a fallen brazenness his brash and spectacular strategy to take centre stage and grab the attention of the world. In the guise of offering the Son of God advice as to how to achieve His mission, the father of lies reveals the underbelly of his own diabolical scheming. The showy and pompous serpent arrayed in combat before the Lamb of God, their very essences irreconcilable, their purposes in this world opposite. This wilderness showdown would determine the fate, not just of the two protagonists but of the earth itself and all life upon it. Satan, presenting a firework display of egocentric machination…turning the limestone rocks to loaves of bread (1)…defying the laws of physics (2)…and offering earthly kingdoms as his poisoned currency (3).


These devilish schemes were offered to the Incarnate God in exchange for a little acknowledgement, just the slightest bending of the knee and will to the adversaries sinister intent. Jesus rebutted the liars words, His clear voice cutting through the scorched desert air, He hurtled three supreme truths to silence the tempters hellish tirade. As we eavesdrop on the Saviours words we can take them for ourselves…1)…We are to live according to the Word of God(4)…2)…We should never test God (5)…3)…We must worship God alone, and serve Him (6). The Truth echoed through the sun-baked hills of Jeshimmon as Jesus turned to the enemy saying “Get out of here, Satan”(7) This was a defining moment in the life of Jesus, here he nailed his colours to the mast and indicated the Way He would proceed in the task of spreading the Good News of the Kingdom of God. Not according to the vacuous and spectacular agenda set by man or devil, but according to a plan long ago conceived in the very heart of God. A plan that would eschew the rich and powerful and instead embrace the poor and weak. As Mary noted in her Magnificat prayer…

“ His mighty arm has done tremendous things !
He has scattered the proud and haughty ones.
He has brought down princes from their thrones
And exalted the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
And sent the rich away with empty hands.” (8)

This was to be God in action at his most sublime, moving quietly almost covertly at times to accomplish His ultimate purposes for His creation.
Henry Ward Beecher the abolitionist preacher said it well…
“ Ten million roots are pumping in the streets: do you hear them? Ten million buds are forming in the axles of the leaves : do you hear the sound of the saw or the hammer? All next summer is at work in the world: but it is unseen by us. And so ‘the kingdom of God comes not with observation’”


Herod Antipas summoned the Nazarene to his courts hoping that this local curiosity would do a miracle or two to entertain the despotic Galilean ruler and his friends. Jesus did not oblige.(9) The Roman procurator Pilate attempted to engage the Saviour in a philosophical discourse when he asked “What is truth?” Jesus did not respond.(10) Even the mob who arrested Him,spat at Him and beat Him as they jeered “Prophecy, who hit you?”Their invective was met with a stony silence.(11) Jesus would not play the game according to the ‘normal’rules where the rich and powerful are kowtowed to and the poor are ignored. This was not Gods way of doing things, no matter how ingrained it was in the culture or psyche of that time or any other time. Jesus was on a radical path that would bring Him, and by faith His followers, to a place unoccupied by human beings since the Garden of Eden. The coming of the Kingdom. “on earth as it is in heaven” (12).
Entering the village of Nain he was met by a mother leading the funeral procession for her son. His heart was moved with compassion for the distraught woman, and He raised her son from the dead (13) . After Jesus teaching on the Mount concerning the Kingdom of God , He descended and was approached by a man with leprosy ,who cried out “ If you are willing, you can make me well .” Jesus touched the man and the leprosy disappeared (14). Simon's mother-in-law was already hopelessly ill when Jesus entered the house and a group of neighbours and friends pleaded with the Master “ Please heal her”. Jesus touched the woman, the fever left her and she recovered. Later that evening the crowds clamoured to see the Lord and He healed the sick and delivered those who were possessed by demons (15).


As Jesus went from place to place He was in constant communion with the Father, and moved by Divine love and fellow-feeling for those afflicted, He tenderly administered the rule of Gods kingdom. This was the world Jesus moved in most easily, not the world of imposing marble columns or gilded palaces but along the dusty highways and byways where suffering humanity flocked to His call. They came to drink the New Wine and taste for themselves the Glory among them, amazed at His teaching and awed by His power. This was power as they had not seen it, a strength clothed in weakness, an authority borne of meekness, in fact what lay before them was God veiled in the flesh! Here in the busy market places and little streets Jesus found His own, and rooted the love of God deep in the hearts of those who believed and followed Messiah. Jesus wept as we weep (16) , He thirsted as we thirst (17) , He tired as we tire (18). Like us in our humanity, tempted as we are tempted, yet unyielding to the Tempters lies, thus unlike us, free of sin. Truly it has been said “Almighty must be that power whose sufficient strength is weakness.”
Truly this is the Upside-down Kingdom where all our cherished wisdom is stood on its head and the power of God breaks through at the cry of a newborn Infant, in the blood of a crucifixion and at the mouth of an empty tomb! Surely His ways are not our ways (19). Our reasoned schemes are petty and forever sidelined by the awesome purposes of our Father as He moves towards the creation of a new heaven and a new earth(20).
Ralph W Stockman once observed “The hinge of history is on the door of a Bethlehem stable”
This Kingdom life which Jesus taught has two vital elements, a love for God and a love for one another (21) , especially the oppressed and downtrodden. And we who wish to be disciples of the King must be prepared to go the Way He went, even to the Cross. We can expect no more plaudits than He as we follow the path from death to life. Do we consider the student will get better treatment than the Master? (22) .May Gods grace enable us to continue on the Kingdom road until that day when His rule will come in all its splendid fullness. Till then we wait and hope remembering that wilderness confrontation between the Son of God and the Prince of darkness, when two very different roads were laid before us, one of which every man and woman must choose. May God in His mercy, lead us all to a firm and true resolve ,to follow the Way of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master.

Gerard O’Shea

(1) Matthew 4:3...(2) Matthew 4:6...(3) Matthew 4:8,9...(4) Matthew 4:4...(5) Matthew 4:7...
(6) Matthew 4:10...(7) Matthew 4:10...(8) Luke 1:51-53...(9) Luke 23:8,9...(10) John 18:38...(11) Matthew 26:67...(12) Matthew 6:10...(13) Luke 7:11-16...(14) Mark 1:40-42...
(15) Matthew 8:14-17...(16) John 11:35...(17) John 4:7...(18) John 4:6...(19) Isaiah 55:8...
(20) Revelation 21:1...(21) Mark 12:28-31...(22) Matthew 10:24

Sunday, 7 October 2007



The endless cycle of idea and action,

Endless invention, endless experiment,

Brings knowledge of motion, but not of stillness;

Knowledge of speech, but not of silence;

Knowledge of words, and ignorance of the Word.

All our knowledge brings us nearer to our ignorance,

All our ignorance brings us nearer to death,

But nearness to death no nearer to GOD.

Where is the Life we have lost in living?

Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us farther from GOD and nearer to the Dust.


Saturday, 6 October 2007


Two old buddies chilling
in the village of Ballylongford !

Friendship is


Friday, 5 October 2007

A BLOGGERS PLEA the blogging desk!
Sitting down to Blog
Is the strangest thing I feel,
Like talking to yourself
Or cooking up a meal,
You set the table out...
Prepare and cook the grub,
And then just pray to God
That someone will turn up...

And if the guests arrive
You never see a face,
They drift into your blog,
And then quietly steal away,
The comment box lies empty
As you peer into the screen,
Trying to find a sign of life
Or where it might have been!

Ah the bloggers lot's a lonely one
Fit only for the brave,
You spill your pearls for all to see
For wise and fool and knave,
So if you sometimes visit...
Leave traces of your steps,
A few words in the 'comments'
Would give this blogger pep!

Some token of your visit,
Would help the Blogging mind
To plough the bloggers furrow
And never look behind,
So now if you are reading,
And you think this blogging rocks
Just let your fingers ramble
And fill the 'comment' box.

Gerard O'Shea



Believe me, I'm not afraid to

Teach me to learn Your ways

Carry me under Your wings

In Your perfect time

Only You, can dreams come true

Only You can make me shine

Only You, can days be right

In Your perfect time

I know You told me that I'm not alone

You know I couldn't do it on my own

See my eyes are older now

Broken dreams behind

Fill my heart with precious love

I know it's there to find

Precious love

You gave me

Precious love

I know forgiveness is the key, not pride

I want to heal this pain I hide inside

Free my fears and promise me

That You won't let me go

You're the One to comfort me

The past, my God, You know

Moya Brennan

You can listen to Moya singing this beautiful song at
and you might even fancy singing along !


The High Priest
in ceremonial dress


In Exodus 29, there is a very visual description of the anointing of Aaron and his sons. Verse 20 describes how the ear, thumb, and big toe of the right foot of the priest were anointed. In Jewish tradition it is said this procedure reminds the priest he must; listen (ear) to the people, act on their behalf (thumb), and be out among the people (big toe).
Another teaching says ear-thumb-toe anointing was to atone for the part Aaron played in the Golden Calf catastrophe. His “ear” had heard the truth but failed. His “thumb” reminded Aaron that his hands which had been given to serve the Lord were used in this act of idolatry. Finally the “toe” reminds Aaron that his feet had participated in an event that was wrong.
Whatever God intended, both insights underline the importance He places on holiness and righteousness for those who would be His anointed. Before the priests could wear the sacred garments, they went through ritual purification by total immersion in water. As the high priest, Aaron wore the turban with the holy crown on it. The complete ceremony lasted for seven days, including the process of purification, preparation and ordination described in Leviticus 8–9.
The anointing oil was poured over the head of Aaron. “ It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon, coming down upon the mountains of Zion; for there the LORD commanded the blessing—life forever ” (Ps. 133:2–3).
As is always the case, Hebrew communicators choose visual illustrations to teach. This one chooses Mount Hermon the majestic, often snow-capped mountain in Israel. The anointing with oil is like the dew of Hermon. It runs down over the head of Aaron, into and through his beard and onto his sacred, priestly garments. Quite a picture!
However, this moment is meant to be more than a visual. It goes much deeper. Yeshua (Jesus) referred to this kind of anointing with oil when He said, “ You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume ” (Luke 7:46). Moses was instructed by the Lord to anoint and consecrate Aaron and his sons (Exod. 30:30). The purpose for the anointing was specific— “that they may minister as priests to Me .” Their role was to be “set apart.” They were called by God to minister, but they first needed His anointing.
Kings and prophets were also anointed. God gave a clear instruction to Elijah: “ The LORD said to him, ‘Go, return on your way to the Wilderness of Damascus, and when you arrive, anoint Hazael as king over Syria. Also you shall anoint Jehu the son of Nimshi as king over Israel. And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-Meholah you shall anoint as prophet in your place ’” (1 Kings 19:15–16).
Prophets were often recognized with physical anointing, which affirmed what was happening in their lives spiritually. They were sometimes called "messiahs" or the anointed ones. When the ark of God was brought into the tent David prepared, a very sacred time followed. In the exhortation that followed came this: “ Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm ” (1 Chron. 16:22).


this was excerpted from a longer article which you can read in full at

Thursday, 4 October 2007


You Know You Have Had
Too Much Coffee When...

*You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked

*You grind your coffee beans in your mouth

*You sleep with your eyes open

*You have to watch videos in fast-forward

*You lick your coffee pot clean

*Your eyes stay open when you sneeze

*The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse

*You can type sixty words a minute with your feet

*You can jump-start your car without cables

*You don't sweat, you percolate

Wednesday, 3 October 2007


This is one letter taken from a book
called 'Dear God' in which children
from all over the world write letters to God.

Dear God,

I planted some trees in our garden. My dad helped me choose them and then we planted them together.

One is an apple tree, and there is a fir tree and a poplar tree. They are very nice, but they are growing very slowly. Could you make them speed up a bit.

Or if you can't do that, maybe you could make sure it rains a bit extra on them because they like the rain a lot.

It would be nice if the apple tree grows some apples, but it looks too small.



Tuesday, 2 October 2007


Amy Carmichael

Hast thou no scar

Hast thou no scar?

No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?

I hear thee sung as mighty in the land,

I hear them hail thy bright ascendant star,

Hast thou no scar?

No wound? No scar?

Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,

And pierced are the feet that follow Me;

But thine are whole. Can he have followed far

Who has nor wound nor scar?

Amy Carmichael

Amy Carmichael was born in the small village of Millisle in Northern Ireland in 1861.One story of Amy Carmichael's early life tells that as a child, Amy wished that she had blue eyes rather than brown. She often prayed that God would change her eye colour and was disappointed when it never happened. As an adult, however, Amy realized that, because Indians have brown eyes, she would have had a much more difficult time gaining their acceptance if her eyes had been blue.She later found her lifelong vocation in India, working with with young ladies, some of whom were saved from forced prostitution. The organization she founded was known as the Dohnavur Fellowship.She was a prolific writer, producing thirty-five published books including His Thoughts Said . . . His Father Said (1951), If (1953).In 1931, Carmichael was badly injured in a fall, which left her bedridden much of the time until her death. Amy Carmichael died in India in 1951 at the age of 83. She asked that no stone be put over her grave; instead, the children she had cared for put a bird bath over it with the single inscription "Amma", which means mother in the Tamil.

Monday, 1 October 2007



This is my garden Robin who presents himself whenever (seldom enough,dear friends)I do a bit of gardening. These pictures of my red-breasted earth friend were taken this morning, a lovely sunny first day of October ,which lured me into the great outdoors. As I am recovering still from my Spanish Point caper (see blog for Sea-side Shuffle) I am gradually this week trying to re-introduce my idle muscles to the concept of movement and manual strain. So the beneficiary of my resolve to be active was my much neglected garden shed whose sun-scorched exterior has been screaming out for attention. I lashed on the Fencelife to the craggy wooden walls and just hope I haven't left it too late...some of the timbers are in a very delicate state indeed.

Here is Robin again perched just over my head as I negotiated the difficult painting of the roadside wall of the garden shed,the difficulty being the space constraint even for my nimble(ahem!) frame. The little bird is a real companionable creature and darts around after me as if he craves the contact. Now I know there are readers of this blog who are too cynical for their own good and already their minds are forming the thought.."poor deranged blogger,the bird is following you in case you do a bit of digging and turn up a tasty worm". Let me face this attack head on...nonsense, the last time the Robin (or anyone else for that matter) saw me digging was...well a long long time ago. In fact in light of the little birds short life span he/she would probably have to consult great-great grandparents to verify such a sighting. Anyway, whatever the gainsayers might posit,I am convinced my garden Robin is a good buddy who delights to see me enter his natural realm on occasion, and extends the courtesy of a flighted escort to accompany me on my way. So there!
Gerard O'Shea